What is multi-step marketing? Simply put, it’s a marketing program consisting of several communications with a new patient prospect.
Here’s what many chiropractors do. They run an ad for a free exam, or they do a screening, and a prospective patient comes in for the exam or screening, but doesn’t sign up. At this point, 80% of all chiropractors drop the prospect right then and there.
They assume since the prospective patient didn’t become an active patient, that the prospect has no interest in ever becoming a paying patient.
Of the remaining 20% of chiropractors, about 19% mail to the prospect once or twice, and if the prospect doesn’t become a patient, they cease all contact.
This means only 1% of doctors are using multi-step marketing correctly.
According to a study performed by “Sales and Marketing” magazine, 80% of people who request information from a company end up getting the product or service they requested information about within one year, but not from the company they originally queried. Do you know why? Because the company didn’t follow up, or gave up on the prospect too soon.
When you give a screening, or when a prospect goes to you for an exam, or requests more information from you, that means she is interested. Most people will not do any of this unless they have some sincere interest, or at least a curiosity, about what you have to offer.
The problem at that point is that the prospect simply may not be ready to become a patient. This could be due to many reasons. Maybe he doesn’t feel comfortable with you yet, maybe he is worried about trying a new treatment, maybe he is low on funds, or there may be 100 other reasons why he would not immediately sign up as a patient.
The majority of your patients will not become patients with you the first time they are introduced to you and your services.
Whenever you come across prospects who request more information from you (or come in for an exam, or participate in a screening) they will fit into one of three categories.
Those categories include:
- Hot: These people want your services – now. These represent a small portion of your prospective patients, but it is the percentage that 80% of chiropractors focus on.
- Cold: These people will never become patients and have absolutely no interest in your services. These people also represent a small portion of your prospective patients.
- Warm: These people are interested in your services, but will not become patients right away. These are the majority of your patient prospects, but it is also the majority that many doctors tend to ignore. You will need to continually be in contact with these prospects, and eventually many of them will become your patients.Since these prospective patients came to you, “raised their hands,” and stepped out from the crowd, you would be committing a marketing sin by not contacting them again. Remember the study mentioned earlier: 80% of people who request information end up getting the product, but not from the company that they originally requested the information from.
This trend holds true with your patients. If they came to you, then more than likely they will eventually get help for the ailment that brought them to you. Your goal is to be at the forefront of their minds when they are ready to become patients.
How do you do this? By systematically “bombarding” them. For at least one year from the date they first contact you, or from your first communication with them, you must systematically be in correspondence with them.
You can send them a letter once a month, or a newsletter, or information about chiropractic, or just about anything that is appropriate. While having “killer” correspondence and sales letters will increase the conversion rate of prospects to patients, the goal is to at least send them something.
So always collect contact information from your prospects (mailing address, e-mail address, fax, phone, etc.) – and market to them for at least one year. Make sure you do a minimum of seven mailings or other contacts during that year. This one strategy, if used consistently, can help grow your practice significantly in just one year.